What types of compensation can an injured construction worker recover ?
Under New York law, an injured construction worker can recover all damages suffered as a result of the injury or accident. The New York State Labor Law deals with the issue of liability which answers the question: who is at fault ? Labor Law 240, 241, 241(6), and 200 deal with liability of the owner and or general contractor and others in a construction accident.
In some cases, the court will grant an injured construction worker summary judgment meaning the owner or general contractor is at fault as a matter of law. The only issue then becomes the amount of monetary damages to award as compensation for the injury. If summary judgment is not granted, a jury would decide liability at the time of trial.
If a worker is successful in proving that a construction accident was the fault of an owner of general contractor, the damages recoverable would include:
- Lost Earnings or Wages: Workers can recover salary lost because they missed a significant time from work after their injury. In some cases, a worker never returns to work an economist expert issues a report as to the future lost wages lost. Other types of economic damages include union benefits, lost pensions, overtime pay, and the value of household services.
- Medical Expenses: A worker severely injured at a construction site will have incurred medical bills including those for doctor’s visits, surgery, hospital stays, and other medical bills which may add up to a very large monetary amount. Whatever bills are not covered by workers compensation can be recovered as part of the lawsuit. In serious injury cases, the treating doctor can provide a medical opinion about future medical costs including future surgeries, hospital stays, prescription medication costs, and physical therapy. This can add up to a large amount over the course of one’s lifetime if the injury is severe and will require lifelong treatment. An economic expert will then project future medical expenses as the medical doctor’s recommendations.
- Pain and Suffering: Construction workers who are injured on the job can recover past and future pain and suffering awards. Depending on the type and severity of their injury, these awards may be very high. A jury will award this amount to compensate the injured worker for their pain and suffering.